In one of the most processional 2023 WorldSBK races to date, Race 1 was decided almost before the lights went out. Hotter temperatures meant the series field were largely unable to battle each other as many riders struggled with grip across the 20-lap distance, reduced from 21 after a delayed start.
The first points-paying race of the weekend came after a frustrating Superpole which denied Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli the opportunity to start on the front row. Both Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders were on their best laps when qualifying was cut short 1’45 from the end due to a red flag – after Razgatlıoğlu had already broken the track record on his initial run.
When Race 1 started, the Turkish ace did everything he could to stay with his main championship rival Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi but was unable to compete with the Ducati duo, forced to settle for P3 at the chequered flag.
For “Loka” it was a day to forget: the red-flagged Superpole saw him start from P11 on the grid and he was simply unable to find a good feeling with a lack of rear grip from start-to-finish in Race 1. Both he and his crew are hopeful to find a solution to return the 26-year-old Italian’s confidence to top-five and podium contention tomorrow.
Thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow could provide an opportunity to shake things up and capitalise – starting with Warm Up at 09:00 local time (CEST), the all-out Superpole Race at 11:00 and lastly, Race 2 at 14:00.